Hop Skip and Jump have been providing respite care for over 30 years.
In 1982 our founder Clarissa Mitchell opened the first centre at Seven Springs near Cheltenham, which operates today as Hop Skip and Jump Cheltenham.
Clarissa’s motivation for starting Hop Skip and Jump came from a conversation with a dear friend whose daughter was paralysed by Polio at the age of 12 and her subsequent experience of looking after a child with a disability. The friend was at her wits end after caring for her child for 42 years without a break and the obvious exhaustion and emotional damage it had caused was all Clarissa needed to know something had to change.
Following this conversation, Clarissa began to support the “Handicapped Adventure Playground Association” where she saw at first hand the value of adventure play for children with disabilities; not only for the children but also the added value of respite for the families and carers.
In 1980 Clarissa moved to Gloucestershire and was provided with an opportunity to establish our first centre in Cheltenham.
With the support of Lady Clarke, the first Hop Skip and Jump centre was born. Shortly after the launch of the first centre, Clarissa was joined by The Reverend Celia Carter, and both have worked tirelessly over many years to provide help and support to those most in need.
Since its launch in 1982, Hop Skip and Jump have been providing high quality respite care to children with disabilities and special needs, giving families and carers much needed time off.
The work of Clarissa, Celia and the team at Hop Skip and Jump continues and today The Hop Skip and Jump Foundation numbers six centres across the United Kingdom, offering thousands of placements to families in need.